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Social Research

Evaluation of Welsh-Medium provision in Initial Teacher Education

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  • Release date: 28 September 2018
The aim of the evaluation was to understand the support provided to develop Welsh-medium and Welsh language teaching within Initial Teacher Education (ITE).

Key findings

  • There has been a general decline in the number of ITE trainees participating in Welsh-medium secondary ITE provision recently, despite ITE provider efforts.
  • The majority of trainee teachers and new teachers who contributed to the evaluation had already decided to undertake Welsh-medium ITE provision prior to enrolling on the course and very few were aware of the financial incentive available via the Welsh-medium Improvement Scheme prior to enrolling on to the course.
  • The extent to which ITE provision is delivered through the medium of Welsh differs across ITE providers.
  • ITE providers find it difficult to provide Welsh-medium provision due to the low number of ITE trainees enrolled at their institution and the lack of Welsh language skills amongst staff.
  • Welsh language (gloywi iaith) lessons are considered to play a significant part in improving the Welsh language skills of trainees.
  • Positive feedback was provided where trainees had experienced more differentiated Welsh language skills provision.
  • School placements play a vital part in developing and improving trainees’ Welsh-medium teaching skills and the role played by language mentors was thought to make an important contribution to this.

The report concludes with a number of recommendations for the Welsh Government, in collaboration with its stakeholders, to consider. 

It considers five key issues:

  • the continued decline in the number of prospective trainees and the difficulties associated with recruitment to Welsh-medium ITE
  • the complexity and fragmented configuration of current provision and the need to simplify and develop greater consistency across Welsh-medium ITE
  • the need to increase Welsh language capacity of ITE secondary provision and explore opportunities for closer collaboration between providers and schools
  • making the most effective use of financial incentivisation to attract trainees and retain teachers to teach through the medium of Welsh
  • the need to consider on-going opportunities for new teachers to develop their Welsh language skills and their pedagogical understanding and knowledge in relation to different Welsh-medium and bilingual settings.


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